In the past few weeks i have had a number of people asking me the above question. "I'm looking to get into photography just as a hobby or nice pastime and what camera do you think i should buy?" And my answer is always the same "There is a number of factors to consider and no same camera is right for everyone".
Firstly i am delighted when someone tells me they are looking into photography because it is a fantastic pastime that takes you to many places and moments. And it's a hobby that i think is becoming more and more popular partly due to the affordability of cameras in comparison to previous years.
This article is going to outline only a few options for you starting out as a photographer because the amount of options available now can be daunting and as a beginner you may find it tough to decide. So I will try narrow it down for you.
Have you decided on a brand?
I am aiming this question at people who perhaps have a preference for nikon or canon. Being honest, for every canon dslr out there nikon has an equivilant and vice versa and i would be more focused on putting time to learn photography and read up on it rather than ponder over Nikon vs Canon because both brands produce excellent cameras with a good range of lenses available. So don't waste your time googling 'Nikon Vs Canon' i will outline options for both brands in this piece and you can decide.
I imagine this is high up on your list of things to consider and you would be right. Now before you get scared that i'm going to start throwing a load of numbers at you that will make you re-think your whole financial situation, i am not. However what i am going to do is list some sample budgets and what you can get for the price. Bear in mind these prices are new, you can easily pick up excellent copies second hand on ebay or adverts or your local site for significant discounts but being a beginner id imagine you'd rather buy new.
Both these cameras are capable of excellent images, the nikon having the higher megapixel count of 24mp in comparison with the content. But please dont get hung up on megapixels, unless your are printing massive prints megapixels is not the be all to end all. Anything from 16mp onwards will be more than adequate.
The lenses are kit lens, only called kit lenses because their bundled with the camera as part of a 'kit'. Originality at its finest. Now you will see some people online bashing kit lenses. Trust me if you are starting out in photography you are not wondering about ED Glass or how many elements it has or maximum aperture etc you want to buy a camera, take it out of the box and start shooting. That is exactly what you can do with a kit. Worry about becoming a pro afterwards and when the pocket is a bit deeper.
If you like shooting video you might swing for the Nikon as it shoots 1080p at 60fps in comparison to 30fps on the canon. The Nikon also lacks an Anti Alias Filter, basically you get sharper images in theory (in real world performance its often hard to tell!).
Ok i'm gonna leave this bracket at the D7000, hands down fantastic camera. Now it has been replaced by the D7100, D7200 and D7500 since. You could pick up a used D7200 for between 6 and 700 euro. But the D7000 can be got new with an 18-105mm lens for around 680 new. I had this camera before i went to the D7200 and it was stellar. Excellent image quality, noise performace was fantastic and it really felt a substantial camera in hand compared to my D3200. It has a 16mp APS-C sensor, shoots 6fps and has 39 focus points . If you have the budget look into one of the D7000 series from Nikon with a Sigma 18-35 F/1.8 lens, killer landscape photography combo!
Other Notable Contenders:
Depending on your budget (are a bit dearer) some of these may be to your liking, all excellent cameras even when purchased with the kit lens:
You might consider a mirrorless option. I like the
Now feel free to shop around, I am just using amazon links here for convenience purposes, you can find many good deals online from various retailers and If you have a friend who can source a good second hand deal for you and who knows what to look out for in buying second hand gear then by all means go for that because I have purchased a lot of second hand photography gear in the past which has been near mint and at a substantial discount. Adverts.ie here in Ireland is an excellent source of second hand gear.
So all the cameras I have listed here are crop sensor cameras (except for the Olympus that's mirrorless). I will be doing a separate article on Full Frame vs Crop Sensor vs Mirrorless in the future however this piece is aimed at someone starting out in photography and I do not want to bog you down too much in that debate just now. In my opinion you should just be concerned with picking up a decent camera and getting out shooting because that is the only way you will learn. And of course the internet is a throve of tutorials, tips, tricks etc where you can learn all you need to know. I will be updating this website with short easy tutorials that are not as technical as some you may find but ones I hope will make sense.
For lens options- That will be discussed in my next piece.
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps. As always feel free to subscribe and share.